P B Shelley

Percy's Progress
A wizened dealer in the second-hand
Said: I've two vast and dog-eared kid-bound tomes
Still in my stock. I cannot understand
Why no-one wants them any more. Such poems
Transport you to new worlds, a wonderland
Where planets swim, and men are hushed on peaks
And skylarks fly through hail. O, how I wish
To sell the blessed things. They've been there weeks.
And on the frontispiece these words appear:
"My name is Percy Shelley - 'twas a Bysshe!
If you don't like it, rub it in your hair!"
Nothing beside remains. What can I say?
They've been remaindered. Else, my shop is bare.
The dusty, empty shelves stretch far away.

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) left us a phenomenal amount of great poetry, considering that he drowned before he was 30. Among it was Ozymandias (not a sonnet, incidentally, despite having 14 lines. The rhyming scheme is "wrong", so it's a humble quatorzain). His second wife was Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, author of Frankenstein

"Bish" is an unfashionable word for "mistake". A mistake in this parody is that there is a reference to a poem by Keats. I plead artistic licence, and ask for numerous other offences to be taken into consideration.

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Bob Newman 2004. All rights reserved.

This page last updated 28/11/2004